Week in Review: Housing Director Handed Punishment, Green Line Extension Moves Forward
A look at Medford's top recent stories.
Former Medford Housing Authority Director Barred from Public Employment: The former executive director of the Medford Housing Authority has been barred from public employment in Massachusetts, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley. Robert Covelle, 59, of Stoneham, resigned from his job at the authority earlier this year following a federal audit that found the authority failed to follow procurement procedures and also handed out projects without putting them out to public bid. Under an agreement with the Attorney General, Covelle admitted to failing to follow procurement procedures during construction at public housing community LaPrise Village, and for several security contracts, according to a press release from Coakley's office.
$45 Million Green Line Extension Design Contract Approved: The Massachusetts Department of Transportation Board of Directors, meeting in Somerville, authorized a $45 million contract for design of the Green Line Extension. "This is actually beginning to put meat on the bone," said MassDOT Secretary Richard Davey after the vote, speaking about how the design effort will progress with the contract in place. "It's a great step forward for the project today," he said. The contract, awarded to AECOM Technical Services, Inc. and HNTB Corporation, is for advanced preliminary and final design services on the Green Line Extension.
Magic Factory Sentencing Details Outlined: Full details of the sentencing for Harry Levy were outlined in a court docket entry made Wednesday. Levy, the owner Hank Lee's Magic Factory in Medford, won't have to report to prison for his two year sentence until Oct. 29, according to court records. A federal judge has recommended he serve his term at Fort Dix, a minimum security federal prison in New Jersey, and that he particpate in mental health care.
Mayor: Council Must Act on School Science Lab Overhaul: The Medford City Council must vote for their proposal of choice for a multi-million dollar high school science lab overhaul at its next meeting, otherwise the city could risk losing out on a state grant to pay for the work, according to Mayor Michael McGlynn. Earlier this year, Medford was awarded a grant through the state for science facilities improvements. The grant will re-imburse the city for about 60 percent of the cost, but schematic designs must be submitted by Dec. 13, according to a memo from McGlynn to the council. In order to make that deadline, the council must pick its plan of choice at its Sept. 18 meeting, McGlynn said.
Minuteman Bus Cut Gets Parents Fuming: Parents of Medford students who attend Minuteman Regional High School accused Superintendent Roy Belson of exposing their children to bullying, and bullying, himself, during Monday's Medford School Committee meeting. Medford Public Schools used to provide a bus exculsively for transportation to and from Minuteman, but that stopped this year in a cost-cutting move. Since Minuteman's first day on Aug. 27, a bus takes students to Minuteman about 6:30 a.m., returns to Medford to run Elementary school pick-ups and drop-offs, and returns to Minuteman about 3:30 p.m. to bring students back to Medford. But that leaves students at the school with about an hour between school's end and the bus arriving.